I have beautiful, healthy children. My daughter is 5 and just started kindergarten, hates to sweat but loves her nikes and horses. My son is 1, and the most challenging little human I have ever encountered. I should have seen that coming the moment the pee stick had two pink lines, but I mean… dang! Some days on my way home from work, I purposely take the route with construction so I can have a few extra minutes of peace before I walk in the door. The door that leads to a kitchen with a floor full of cracker crumbs, juice drops and a string cheese wrapper. Waiting for me at the end of the snack trail will be the angry toddler that has been waiting for me to get home because I’m the one that gives in and picks him up. Then I proceed to start my evening routine with only one arm and hand. There are two things my son needs to function – Food, and FOOD! If you deprive him of that for one second too long it’s like watching a volcano explode but imagine that you were sticking your head in the hole at the top when it exploded instead of watching from afar.
My daughter on the other hand… she is one thing I can’t wait to see at the end of the day. Along with my husband and dogs, of course!
Side note: I would give my life for my family (even the dogs) so before anyone gets judgy… I love my family. My kids. Motherhood. My life. But its fricken hard some days and there is nothing wrong with admitting that. Back to my point…
The little girl… Some days I never see as much as a pouty face, but other days we simply ask her to try a 1/4th of a slice of squash and it’s a melt down that could win an Oscar. I can control my emotions appropriately and sometimes I even let them out. But, if I’m being completely honest, emotional people annoy the hell out of me. With that being said at the end of some days I’m falling asleep wondering how I gave birth to a human that is SO incredibly emotional? Is this normal? Is this one of those things I skipped over in the parenting books? How did we get here? More importantly, how do we move forward and not screw this kid up royally?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time as a Mother, it’s that your friends advice is probably more valuable than the crap you will find on google. So I’ve made small talk about it, I’ve observed others, and I’ve asked questions. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I can foster the emotional outbreaks and work through these episodes that will (I pray to god) pass as she develops more. I can yell at her to get it together because really – running out of honey butter for your waffle is not the end of life as we know it. Or I could use a soft voice, get on her level, ask her to verbally express how she feels, right? Yeah, been there, done that and I have the frustration wrinkles on my face to prove it. At the end of every attempt to understand and embrace this soft little soul god has given me there is an unthinkable response to the “what’s making you so upset?” question. For your reading pleasure I have provided a few examples.
“You picked me up from school, I wanted to ride the (really old) van (that leaks when it rains) back to daycare for snack time.”
“I just didn’t get a good nap.”
“It’s just because you didn’t put my hair tie tight enough.”
I have come to realize there is no “perfect” response to the absurdity that comes out of this child’s mouth. Instead of worrying about it, I’m going to document it, embrace it, laugh at it a few days later and move on. Today it’s a loose pony tail and in another 12 years it will be a broken heart. I’m thankful for these days, even if it at the end of them I’m left wondering “where did you come from?”